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Not-quite-socially-anxious

Sometimes I think I have a touch of social anxiety. It's probably wrong that I use that term, as it's a clinical condition and I'm certainly not clinical, but at times it seems like the right descriptor for the inordinate amount of stress I experience around certain social interactions. Basically, if it's not something I'm doing entirely for pleasure, with someone with whom I have zero fear of awkwardness, I got through at least some reaction of discomfort and a desire to avoid-- definitely more than is normal or appropriate.

The other day I decided to finally look social anxiety up, and it turns out I have almost none of the markers. It's mostly characterized by an extreme self-consciousness and a fear of the judgment of others, which isn't really my problem. But the two markers I have got, in SPADES, are I dread meeting new people, and the excessive amount of "anticipatory anxiety" before non-recreational social interaction. I'm a pretty extreme introvert, and I need more alone time than almost anyone I know. I dislike spending time around anyone with whom I don't really know what to talk about. I despise small talk, and I vastly prefer being alone to any interaction that I don't specially want or enjoy. I don't know why that would make me experience such stress or dread rather than just finding it unlikable or boring, but for some reason awkward interaction is exceptionally painful for me.

As I said, I don't have many of the social anxiety symptoms. Much of the time I actively crave the spotlight and attention. But there are definitely times I go into hide-mode, where I don't want to run into anybody I might have to interact with. There are certain activities where I just want to lose myself in doing them and not have to worry about being properly friendly or interesting or presentable. I HATE, for example, having to talk to people at the gym, and I like just immersing myself in ballet class without worrying about making chitchat. Of course, not looking my best also factors into it, as I am significantly more uncomfortable and self-conscious when I feel like I look bad.

I feel silly thinking of it like it's actually a serious issue. I think it's mostly just that it doesn't come naturally to me, and being lazy I just don't want to do the work. But you can't always just revert to what comes easiest to you. Also, one must emerge from one's cave eventually. 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
youareverysmall
Aug. 26th, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
A lot of those personality quirks that are so often problematized (introversion turned into "social anxiety," etc) are actually just facets of normal existence. For years before this more recent trend of talking about introversion and extroversion, I thought there was something super wrong to me because I would almost always rather stay in and watch netflix than go out with friends...even friends I really, really like. But more recently I've been learning about introversion and also my Myers-Briggs type, and it's explained a lot about me that I can refer back to and be like "oh, it's not that I've got something wrong with me; it's just that I'm an INFJ."

So I guess I'm wondering if you know your Myers-Briggs type and if looking at your social wariness from that angle helps at all.

-Ally
lisefrac
Aug. 26th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
I dislike spending time around anyone with whom I don't really know what to talk about.

OHGAWD THIS. Sometimes my anxiety about NOT KNOWING WHAT TO SAY is so great that I basically fear myself into speechlessness, making things even more awkward.

Which is hilarious, because if I don't overthink these interactions, they usually proceed quite naturally. But there's nothing I do well that I can't overthink...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:



MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3


at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM

and

Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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